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Failed TV Pilot: "Meet The O'Briens" (1954)


Published 1954


Failed TV pilot called "Meet The O'Briens". Made in 1954, This TV pilot seems more like a 40's comedy short than a 50's TV program. It's easy to see why this wasn't picked up, As although it is fairly funny, they would of ran out of storylines quickly. I don't know much about this pilot. If anyone could get some info on this pilot, that would be useful.


Run time Approx 24 Minutes
Production Company Official Films
Audio/Visual Sound, Black and White

Reviews

Reviewer: EasyAceMCMLV - - June 19, 2011
Subject: This was a Comedy?
I watched. Twice. I'm still waiting for the real jokes. This cast looked and worked decently enough, and probably should have received danger pay for playing this script. Even by the increasingly vapid standards of 1950s situation comedy this one didn't have a prayer, even if the cast might have felt they needed one. Hard to believe this came from the same mind as "Trouble With Father" and "My Little Margie" . . .
Reviewer: bgrauman - - April 19, 2011
Subject: A rare unsold pilot from Roland Reed
This unaired, unsold 1954 sitcom pilot was produced by the same man who previously brought you Stu Erwin's "TROUBLE WITH FATHER" {in fact, the theme music used for this pilot- an Alexander Laszlo stock cue from his Structual production music library- was also used in the closing credits of several syndicated episodes of "FATHER"}, Gale Storm's "MY LITTLE MARGIE", and several seasons of "THE BEULAH SHOW" (and "ROCKY JONES- SPACE RANGER"), filmed at his "home base" at Hal Roach Studios. Reed KNEW what people wanted to see, and most of his pilots became series. By 1954, however, his status as a successful TV producer had started to fade; the fact that he chose to produce this with a laugh track, instead of his usual custom of letting the audience decide what was funny by NOT using one, was a telling sign (canned laughter appeared during the final season of "MARGIE" and Stu Erwin's program). In addition, Dave O'Brien wanted to star in a filmed TV comedy series of his own: he knew MGM's "PETE SMITH SPECIALITIES", in which wrote, directed and starred in several of them every year until they ended in 1955, was eventually going to be discontinued because the market for one-reel theatrical comedies was drying up, due to television. So he decided to create his own idea for a TV sitcom, and became partners with Roland Reed in the venture. As he proved in his "PETE SMITH" shorts, Dave had a knack for slapstick comedy, with plenty of pratfalls and physical humor. In fact, after the Smith series ended, O'Brien became one of Red Skelton's TV writers. Sadly, he never had another chance to prove how good a performer HE could be on TV...
Reviewer: The Bridge - - December 4, 2010
Subject: A good show
Wish I had known in the 50's that this was trying to be a regular show, I would have watched it. I always liked anything Jeff Donnell did, she was pretty, perky, and a good actress.
Truly sorry I didn't know at the time that it was around. Thank you all for having this for us to see.
Reviewer: Terry K - - September 20, 2010
Subject: It could pass for a two-reeler
Dave O'Brien's career really covered the waterfront. Aside from his Pete Smith shorts, he rode the range as one of "The Range Busters" and was "Captain Midnight" in the movie serial adaptation of the popular radio serial. Oh, and does anyone remember him as the guy driven murderously insane by the evil weed in "Reefer Madness"?
Reviewer: rpforrest - - April 22, 2010
Subject: Kind of corny but fun to watch
Was kind of corny but still worth a look, but IMO its not hard to see why it wasn't picked up, i did notice near the end the man who comes in to tell Dad he'd won a new car played the Mayor of Mayberry in the early episodes of the Andy Griffith Show.
Reviewer: EJEFFREY - - April 21, 2010
Subject: Meet The O'Briens
This pilot was shot at Hal Roach studios with some of the same technical crew that were doing MY LITTLE MARGIE, THE STU ERWIN SHOW etc. However Dave O'Brien was co-scripter and producer under his real name "David Barclay- the same duties he did at MGM for his starring PETE SMITH SPECIALS. Soon after this
he became a writer for THE RED SKELTON SHOW
Reviewer: Seto-Kaiba_Is_Stupid - - August 11, 2008
Subject: Interesting
Interesting little failed TV pilot from the 50's. Generic, But not bad!
Reviewer: Robin_1990 - - May 5, 2008
Subject: I Uploaded This
This is a pretty good failed TV pilot from 1954.
Reviewer: agentno99 - - April 3, 2008
Subject: good old time humor
Not sure what it is, but I was really entertained by this! Sure wish there were more.
Reviewer: Poplar House - - April 1, 2008
Subject: Dave O'Brien
Dave, a very prolific actor in the forties and fifties, made a series of Pete Smith shorts for MGM with the generic title, "I Love My ---, but..." (wife, husband, mother-in-law, etc.). These show up on TCM often. "Meet the O'Briens" looks like a TV version, with Dave's usually uncredited screen (and real) wife Dorothy Short replaced with Jeff Donnell. Thanks for sharing this program.
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